Wing It With The Best Gel Eyeliners for All Day Color

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Getting an accurate and tight line with an eyeliner pencil can occasionally result in an unpleasant jab in the eye. Liquid liners, on the other hand, sometimes leave an unsightly gap or a lopsided smudge. In recognizing the plight of women around the world to avoid the eyeliner-induced raccoon look, gel eyeliner was invented. As opposed to other liners, gel eyeliners come in small pots and are applied with a fine brush. With a thicker formula than liquid for increased control and accuracy, and easier to apply than a pencil, the gel formula offers the perfect middle-ground. If you are new to the magic of gel eyeliners, we’ve got you covered. Check out our picks for the leading gel eyeliners in 2022 and why we love them.

Reviewing the Top Gel Eyeliners of 2022 in Detail

UCANBE Liner  —  Best Overall

gel eyeliner reviews

Key Features

  • Purchase includes a black and brown gel eyeliner
  • Regular and angled liner brushes included
  • Water-resistant and smudge-proof formula
  • Highly pigmented and long-lasting for all-day wear

We love this 2-in-1 gel eyeliner set that includes black and brown gel eyeliner tubs, as well as two eye makeup brushes: everything you need to create a gorgeous frame for your eyes. The creamy formula allows you to apply a clear and defined line without any blooming. With the two shades, you can opt for a bold black eye or a slightly lighter shade according to your complexion. Plus, the brown can double-up for use on your eyebrows, too. The regular liner brush is good for general eye lining, while the angled brush allows you to create the perfect wing.

Rimmel Liner  —  Longest Lasting

gel eyeliner reviews

Key Features

  • Includes one black gel eyeliner with an application brush
  • Up to 24 hours of smudge-proof wear
  • Creamy waterproof formula
  • Great quality for a very good price

Rimmel’s creamy Scandaleyes gel eyeliner formula glides on smoothly, giving you precise definition. The high-shine finish has a 24-hour wear time, allowing you to head to happy hour after work without having to worry about touch-ups, fading, or smudges. In addition to scoring points for its great price, it also comes conveniently accompanied by an eyeliner brush for accurate application. Gel eyeliners are known to dry out quicker than liquid eyeliners, so make sure you keep the Rimmel tub lid tightly closed. If your product does become dry, add one or two eye drops and blend with a toothpick until you get the creamy consistency again.

Mommy Makeup Liner  —  Best Color Range

Key Features

  • Available in 12 gorgeous shades
  • Water- and smudge-proof
  • Certified cruelty-free
  • Long-wearing formula with no touch-ups needed

Mommy Makeup is designed for women who need to get the most out of their time. This soft waterproof eyeliner provides long-lasting and precise definition in just one swipe, allowing you to get ready in no time. The range comes in a variety of colors including traditional pure black, deep olive, eggplant, metallic burgundy, copper shimmer, chocolate shimmer, navy blue, forest green, dark silver shimmer, and sugar plum. Suitable for day or night, casual or formal, these gel eyeliners don’t dry out quickly and are paraben-free, making them a must-have!

E.l.f. Liner  —  Best Waterproof Formula

Key Features

  • Purchase includes one black creamy gel eyeliner
  • Long-lasting, boldly pigmented formula
  • Smudge-proof and water-resistant
  • Cruelty-free and vegan

E.l.f gel eyeliner is another product that scores big points for its long-lasting waterproof formula. The creamy consistency allows you to create precise, thin lines or try thicker, more dramatic looks. The dense color offers a clear definition that remains smudge-free regardless of hot humid climates, rain, or tears. The eyeliner can even be shaded in for a smoky-eye look before drying, which makes it versatile and allows you to be creative with your application. E.l.f cosmetics are also free from parabens and phthalates.

Inglot Liner  —  Best for Sensitive Skin

Key Features

  • Gel-based water-resistant formula
  • Black matte finish
  • High-intensity color pigment
  • Long-lasting product and long-lasting wear

This high-intensity matte gel eyeliner allows you to create just the look you want, whether it’s for work, a night on the town, or a special celebration. The light texture allows you to start with a clean delicate line and build to a thicker look for something more dramatic. Plus, the gel-based formula provides cleaner and more precise lines than a pencil, yet easier application than liquid liner, creating the perfect balance. This long-lasting formula is also hypoallergenic and paraben-free.

A Buyer's Guide to Finding a Premium Gel Eyeliner

Eyeliner is a great way to transform your daytime office appearance into a sleek or sassy evening look. Although pencil and liquid liners all have their place, gel liners take the cake when it comes to ease of application and control. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right gel eyeliner color and how to apply it to get the look you’re after.

When Should I Use Gel Eyeliner?

Pencil eyeliners are ideal if you’re still practicing applying the perfect straight lid-line and are perfect for creating smokey eyes. Having said that, they aren’t as smooth and tend to smudge easily, which may require some maintenance or retouching throughout the day. Since they’re a little lighter than liquid or gel types, they are a good option for the office or a more casual daytime look.

Liquid liners require a very steady hand for accurate application and a little practice. They draw thin sharp lines, which are often not as well defined with pencil applicators. Liquid liners come in smudge-proof and waterproof varieties, which are great for long-lasting wear. They do, however, take a little time to dry after applying.

Creamy and thicker than a liquid but more accurate than a pencil, gel liner is a great in-between option. Gels are applied with a thin brush and come in a small tub with a screw-on lid. Word of caution: always tighten the lid properly when not in use, to ensure the gel doesn’t dry out.

Gel applications are ideal for layering to control lighter or darker effects and have great staying power for long days or nights. They are also ideal for beginners' improved application control and for experienced makeup wearers who would like to be more experimental with their looks.

How to Choose the Best Gel Eyeliner

Waterproof

It really is a wonder why all makeup is not made waterproof. Whether you have something in your eye, tear up at the movies, or eat a little too much wasabi, watering eyes will inevitably make you look like you’ve just returned from a ‘Day of the Dead’ festival if your makeup is not waterproof. Always check the label to make sure your liner is waterproof. Waterproof makeup generally also lasts longer without needing regular touch-ups.

Ingredients

Since eyeliner is applied to the most sensitive place near your eye, it is important to choose products with ingredients that are gentle on your skin. If you are prone to skin irritations or have sensitive eyes, check the ingredients and take extra caution to opt for products or brands that you are already familiar with. When possible, do a patch test before wearing a new brand. If you are trying an unfamiliar product, wear it at home to test it before wearing it to work or a big event to avoid itchy, swollen panda-eyed disasters.

Brush

Check whether the gel eyeliner purchase includes a brush with a fine point. If it doesn’t, make sure you either have one or purchase one separately when buying the gel. You can use either an angled or tapered brush to apply the gel, but you can’t do without one. If you are buying a brush separately, check that it has a very fine tip. Avoid picking up too much gel on the tip when applying it, as this will cause clumps or caking.

How to Choose the Best Color Eyeliner

Although most people opt for black or dark brown eyeliner regardless of their eye color, there is a range of exciting hues to choose from that, when chosen strategically, will accentuate your natural eye color.

Dark brown eyes

If you have dark eyes, the world (of eyeliner colors) is your oyster. Your eyes are the most versatile and almost any shade lining will add definition. Since brown is created by mixing all the primary colors most shades work well, whether it’s a dark brown, navy, or even something with golden tones.

Hazel eyes

Opt for a brown shade with hints of burgundy or underlying warm purple tones if you have hazel eyes. If your eyes lean a bit more to being brown-hazel as opposed to having a touch of green, you can also try something with a tinge of blue.

Blue eyes

Warm earthy colors and browns with a hint of orange or burgundy will make blue eyes pop without using too harsh a liner.

Green eyes

Green eyes look gorgeous with dark berry colors such as burgundy, plum, or wine. Line your lids with shades that have these undertones but still look natural.

Gel Eyeliner Application Tips

Choose the right brush

The brush you use may depend on the look you are after. Angled brushes are best used for a winged or cat-eye look, as they are handy to create a precise endpoint. If you are lining your lower lash line, a very fine flat top brush is best. You can create a smoky look by using a smudge brush to lightly soften or blend the line.

Let it dry

Although not as watery as liquid liners, the gel still has a somewhat wet consistency that requires a little drying time. Before starting to add anything or touching your eyes, give the gel time to dry to avoid smudges.

Setting options

A setting spray for any makeup keeps it in place and smudge-free; this applies to eyeliner as well. Since gels have a creamy consistency, setting it after application is not a bad idea. You can do this either with a spritz of your regular setting spray or by applying a little dark eyeshadow over the eyeliner.

Start small

Applying too much gel onto the brush can result in clumpy, uneven lines. Start small and layer it gradually until you have a feel for exactly how much to apply.